Tag Archives: church

The other 100,000 hours

Other 100,000 Hours image from InTrust articleThe first part of my two-part article for InTrust magazine on how the church has failed working people and what they, and the seminaries, can do about it, is now up on the ‘web. Here’s the first bit and the link:

The other 100,000 hours

How the church marginalizes itself from the working world

By Chris R. Armstrong

MOST CHURCHES ARE GOOD AT figuring out what to do with their congregations during the hours on Sunday morning in which they have a captive audience. But what about the rest of the week? What does the church have to say about the struggles and joys, trials and triumphs, and inherent worth of our working lives?

“The average person will work 100,000 hours in their lifetime,” says Jeff Van Duzer, dean of the Seattle Pacific University School of Business and Economics. “This seems like an enormous waste if it’s spent doing fundamentally meaningless things whose only value is a paycheck.” To be sure, many Christians develop, at some point in their lives, a sense that daily work does indeed matter to God. And eventually, some come to understand that their own work complements God’s work — the six days of creation, the redemptive love of Jesus, the ushering in of new heavens and new earth. God sustains the world, but God’s creatures do their part in caring for it as well.

But does the church have anything more profound to say about the value of work? And how might theological schools prepare their graduates to help
ordinary Christians do their work in light of their faith? Those are questions worth pondering.

Princeton scholar David Miller explores this topic in his 2006 book God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement. As Miller explains,
the 1980s saw an explosion of books, magazines, conferences, networks, and organizations focused on putting the two halves of life together: worship and
“the other 100,000 hours.”

The rest of the article, with some nifty ’40s-esque illustrations, is here. The second part, on how seminaries can help pastors-in-training to address faith-work integration–and the roadblocks they (the seminaries) face, will appear in the next issue. InTrust goes to virtually all North American seminary presidents and board chairs, and is edited expertly by my friend Jay Blossom.

What can REALLY help hurting workers: Greg Forster’s rejoinder to Jonathan Rauch

Having reflected in a previous post on Jonathan Rauch’s recent National Journal on the plight of many working and non-working American men today, I’m going to re-post here a response to Rauch. The original article may be found over at Hang Together.

Jonathan Rauch’s (Mostly) Failed Agenda for Hurting Workers – and What Would Work

College of the Ozarks’ “Hard Work U” Program

I see lots of attention being paid to this article by Jonathan Rauch on the economic crisis of America’s working class. He’s looking at the right problem, but he’s looking at it all wrong. As a result, he misunderstands both the cause and the needed remedy. Continue reading

The black church and other American churches: “We’re not dead yet!”

Christian Century Jason Byassee’s got a good answer to Hauerwas and other doomsayers. See his blog entry about the continued viability of the black church, here. It explains why he thinks that “the church – mainline, black, and much farther afield still than either – probably has a bit more left in the tank than headline grabbers like to let on.” It also contains links to interesting reflections on the current state of the black church in America.

Evangelicalism–a basic summary–part I

The following is adapted from the excellent Dictionary of American Christianity (Intervarsity Press). Part II of the article can be found here. Part III is here. The whole thing was given as a talk to a group of psychiatric residents (doctors-in-training) at a Twin Cities hospital. The talk’s final and, for me, most interesting part, on “Evangelicals and psychiatric services,” can be found here.

What is evangelicalism, in distinction from other Christian movements? It is not a single denomination, with its own organization. Rather, it is a movement in Christianity emphasizing the classical Protestant doctrines of:

•           salvation

•           the church, and

•           the authority of the Scriptures,

and characterized by

•           stress on a personal experience of the grace of God, usually termed the new birth or conversion.

There are well over 50 million self-described evangelicals in the US and Canada today.

The movement has been shaped by: Continue reading